Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is U-LINK?

    U-LINK (University of Miami Laboratory for INtegrative Knowledge)is the University of Miami’s initiative to support innovative interdisciplinary research.

  • What kind of funding support is available through U-LINK?

    Phase I funding offers selected interdisciplinary teams 40K. Phase I teams are eligible to apply for Phase II funding, which provides $150K/year for up to two years. Phase I and Phase II teams also participate in a “science of team science” workshop that is designed to provide the skills and knowledge that support successful interdisciplinary team activities. Finally, U-LINK teams are able to access designated meeting space in the libraries of each campus.

  • Can my research team skip Phase I and just apply for Phase II funding?

    No. Only teams who have successfully completed Phase I funding can apply for Phase II.

  • What activities are supported during Phase I of U-LINK?

    Phase I funding is designed to support team formation and development among diverse team members. Teams are expected to create a shared transdisciplinary language and develop a sense of team identity. Additionally, the vision, goals, and central questions related to the team’s topic area will be refined during Phase I.  Finally, Phase I teams are expected to work toward the development of a relationship with a stakeholder group (e.g. NGO, community partner). Phase I funding begins January 1 and runs through August. During this time, Phase I team members are expected to devote 10% of their time to Phase I activities.

  • How many teams will receive funding through U-LINK?

    About 5-10 teams will receive Phase I funding each year. We anticipate that 2-3 of Phase I teams will receive Phase II funding.

  • How does Phase II of U-LINK differ from Phase I?

    Teams that receive Phase II funding are expected to develop prototypes and/or collect preliminary data that can be used to support of an external grant application. Phase II funding can be for up to 2 years, contingent on milestone accomplishments. By the conclusion of Phase II, teams are expected to apply for significant external funding support.

  • What counts as an “interdisciplinary” team? How large should teams be?

    Teams must consist of faculty representing at least two diverse disciplines; typically, this means investigators from two campuses or two schools. Teams are strongly encouraged (but not required) to have representation from both STEM disciplines and the social sciences/arts/humanities.

  • I am not in a tenure-track line. Am I still eligible to participate in U-LINK?

    All regular, research, and clinical full-time faculty members, as well as full-time faculty in practice and emeritus faculty, are eligible to be members of interdisciplinary teams applying for funding. However, part-time or full-time faculty who are in appointments that do not have research responsibilities (such as Instructors or adjunct professors) are not eligible for salary support.  At the same time, these faculty members are welcome to be members of U-LINK teams if they provide important expertise that would advance the work of the team.

  • Can graduate students be a member of a U-LINK team?

    All Phase II teams must include a graduate student with interdisciplinary research interests. The Graduate School provides the stipend for one graduate student to become a member of each Phase II U-LINK team.

  • Can I be a member of multiple teams?

    Faculty members are limited to being a member of only one applicant team. Each applicant may be a member of only one U-LINK team in any Phase.

  • What kind of topics should teams focus on?

    The world’s most compelling and difficult problems are complex. Addressing the challenges of climate change, for example, requires thinking about weather patterns, relationship of disease and environment/diet, coastal architecture, energy use, city planning, human communication, the role of truth in media, international relations, big data and many other fields. (See https://www.globalgoals.org for topics of particular interest for the U-LINK initiative.) We encourage proposals that tackle problems aligning with the university’s Roadmap to Our New Century initiative, such as addressing environmental challenges, engineering smart/connected cities, promoting health and wellness, cultivating a culture of belonging, and applying the potential of big data to global issues.

  • Who makes U-LINK funding decisions?

    The U-LINK Action Team consists of diverse faculty who have considerable experience with interdisciplinary research.  U-LINK Action Team members are not eligible to apply for U-LINK funding support.

  • How can my U-LINK funds be used? Can I use it for summer salary? Can I use it for a course buyout?

    The total funds allocated to an entire team are $40,000, and most teams tend to use the majority of the funds for salary. Each team member agrees to commit 10% effort to the project regardless of whether the funds from U-LINK cover a faculty member’s 10% effort during the academic year. The funds can be used for summer salary rather than a 10% effort being compensated for the academic year. Whether the 10% covers a course buyout depends on the School or College, current course load, and the size of the team.

  • Do all team members have to commit 10% effort to the project, or only the person listed as the accountable lead?

    All team members are required to commit 10% effort to the U-LINK project. All team members are considered equal co-PIs for the purposes of this funding. However, each team must designate an “accountable lead” for reporting, meeting the terms of funding, and communicating with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (VPR).

  • What if I have a large team, and the $40,000 does not cover the 10% effort for each team member?

    Each team member is expected to devote 10% of their effort to the project even if the dollar compensation falls short of this level. The $40,000 award is based on 10% of the NIH salary cap for one semester, for an average-sized team of about 5 people. It may be that some team members will have to consider their participation in U-LINK as an “overload” of their current effort—or their participation as “volunteering” on the project.  Some teams have opted to use the $40,000 on other activities (e.g., a symposium), even though they still devote 10% of their time to the project. 

  • Once my team has been formed, how do I apply?

    See the RFA for instructions on applying in the InfoReady Review system.

  • Who should I email if I have questions about the funding opportunity or if I need help identifying a faculty member in a particular area?

    Email Susan E. Morgan, PhD., Associate Provost for Research Development and Strategy

    semorgan@miami.edu or Ali Mosser, PhD., Senior Manager, Research Support, amosser@med.miami.edu.

  • Who should I email with questions about the InfoReady Review website?

    Email Eva Olivares, Manager of Research Support, at eolivares@med.miami.edu